What I Learnt from One Year of Podcasting

I released 52 episodes of my podcast, Graduate Theory . This is its story.

The pandemic started in early 2020.

As I spent days and days sitting inside, I had an idea.

What if I started a podcast?

I had started to get to know some interesting people through my local Toastmasters club; perhaps I could interview them.

On March 26, 2020, I wrote my first note about my podcast.

It would be called the “E4 Podcast”.

The E4 Podcast Logo

The E4 Podcast Logo

E4 is the most common starting move in a game of chess. I thought this aligned nicely with the topic I wanted to pursue: early careers.

Your early career is the first move you make in the game of life.

By creating the podcast, I wanted to know how these interesting people became so interesting.

How could I have a career that I could be proud of and not one that I was ashamed of?

The First Message ๐Ÿ”—︎

Finally, I decided. This was it.

It was time to start.

My first reachout

My first reachout

It was the 24th of April, 2020. I had finally worked up the guts to message my friend, Ryan, asking him if he’d like to be interviewed.

Luckily, he said yes!

It was time to get started.

The Weight ๐Ÿ”—︎

I recorded the episode with Ryan, and then I waited…

and waited..

and waited…

The episode never came out. I couldn’t work up the guts to edit and release the episode, or even ask another person if they’d like to be interviewed.

Looking back, the social anxiety I felt around sharing something of my own to the world was overwelming.

Now, I can’t believe that these thoughts held me back. It seems so silly!

The Resurrection ๐Ÿ”—︎

The podcast idea didn’t go away. It continued to stew away in the back of my mind until August 2021.

I was in Melbourne at the time, doing a covid quarantine with my girlfriend.

It was during this period that I decided, enough was enough.

I had still been thinking about doing a podcast. Would I ever do it?

The time came when I realised it was now or never. Starting the podcast today was going to be no easier than starting it at any other time. If I didn’t start today, I may never do it.

I asked myself what I would think of this situation if I was 80 years old. What would I say to myself?

I realised that I would be filled with regret if I reached that age and hadn’t pursued this ambition I had held for some time.

So my mind was made up. It was time to start.

My first steps were to purchase a microphone and a better webcam. I also began to build my dream guest list.

The First Graduate Theory Logo

The First Graduate Theory Logo

The First Episode ๐Ÿ”—︎

The first three episodes came out on the 6th of November, 2021. One was with Joe Wehbe, and two with my friends from Toastmasters, Darren Fleming and Wendy Teasdale-Smith.

Here is the first post I made about the podcast. I posted on the 8th of November, 2021.

Initial LinkedIn Post

Initial LinkedIn Post

It turned out that the social anxiety I felt was still there. I was super nervous to post about it, and pleasantly surprised to see many positive comments from friends.

It turns out that “haters” don’t seem to really exist, and much of the pressure I felt about putting something out into the world was coming from internal beliefs, not reality.

Pod Crew ๐Ÿ”—︎

One of the best things about the journey was the friends that I made along the way. In particular, I had a great time with what was dubbed “Pod Crew”. This group of four of us met every Thursday night at 5:30 pm to chat everything about podcasts and life.

These chats served multiple purposes. They were a great time, and I was usually laughing about our chats after the sessions had finished. More importantly, though, they served as a great way for us all to keep each other accountable.

Coming to pod crew each week with a new update and sharing my learnings kept me interested and on the path to a great podcast.

I’m very fortunate that I was able to share this time with my friends, Joe, Luke and Dom.

The Last Episode ๐Ÿ”—︎

The last episode of season one came out on the 18th of October, 2022. Nearly a year after the first episodes came out.

That was one episode every week for nearly a year. Not too bad!

I am really proud of this achievement. I stuck at something for a whole year and had some great moments that I will remember forever.

Lowlights ๐Ÿ”—︎

Some of the hardest things about podcasting are scheduling and social media management.

Scheduling is tricky because there were times when I’d have a guest locked in, ready to record their episode for later in the week. Then the guest can’t make the session for any number of reasons. What do you do then? It can be quite stressful.

Many times, I had to be creative and think about what I could post instead so that I could keep the cadence of posting one episode every week.

I also found social media management to be quite tricky. Managing the podcast, guests and social media is a pretty big workload for one person. I was often out of ideas or had limited time to produce social media content.

Highlights ๐Ÿ”—︎

My favourite moments of the journey were chatting with some incredible guests. I enjoyed all episodes, but some of my favourites are

  • Adam Geha (CEO, EG)
  • Lidia Ranieri (Former Director, Goldman Sachs)
  • Brendan Humphreys (Head of Engineering, Canva)
  • Mykel Dixon (Speaker)
  • Lisa Leong (Broadcaster, ABC)

There are so many amazing people out there, I feel so fortunate that I was able to meet and speak with many of them.

What I Learnt ๐Ÿ”—︎

  1. Social pressure is all in your head

If you want to do something, make a list of the pros and cons. Cross out any con that relates to what people will think of you. Now decide.

  1. If you don’t do it now, you never will

This was a key belief that got me started on this journey. If I don’t start it now, I may never do this. Is that something I can live with?

  1. Capitalise on Momentum

At times during the podcasting journey, I had built up some momentum, really smashing it with views and listens. I failed to build on this momentum. Next time, when momentum starts to pick up, go even harder.

  1. Clarity is important

Many times during the journey, I asked myself some variation of “What is the goal with this?”. I wasn’t totally clear on what I wanted Graduate Theory to become. Was it going to be a casual thing? Did I want to make money? Did I want to quit my job and pursue this full-time? Clarity with this would have helped me.

  1. Consistency is important

Once the ball got rolling for weekly episodes, it was much easier to keep it rolling. Being consistent made it easier to be more consistent. Don’t break the chain.

Conclusion ๐Ÿ”—︎

I am so proud of myself and what I achieved with Graduate Theory. Although it’s nothing incredible, I pushed past my previous limits to achieve things I had not done before. For that, I am proud.

I’m grateful to all those who supported me on my journey. This is not the end.

Until next time.

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